Postgraduate Programs 2017/18
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Physics
Award Title

Master of Philosophy in Physics
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics

Program Short Name

MPhil(PHYS)
PhD(PHYS)

Mode of Study

Both full- and part-time

Normative Program Duration

MPhil

Full-time: 2 years
Part-time: 4 years
 

PhD

Full-time: 3 years (with a relevant research master’s degree), 4 years (with a bachelor’s degree only)
Part-time: 6 years

Offering Unit
Program Advisor

PG Programs Coordinator:
Prof Ning WANG, Chair Professor of Physics

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Program is designed to train students to conduct independent research in Physics, and to prepare students for teaching, further postgraduate studies, or advanced work in industry. A candidate for an MPhil degree is expected to demonstrate knowledge in the discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making a contribution to the field.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program is designed to train students to conduct significant original research, and the degree is conferred primarily in recognition of breadth of scholarship, depth of research, and power to investigate problems independently and efficiently. A candidate for a PhD degree is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline.
 

The programs are offered by the Department of Physics with the following research foci and state-of-the-art facilities providing students with necessary interdisciplinary knowledge to contribute to the long-term nanoscale research and development.
 

Research Foci

The Department concentrates its resources on condensed matter physics with potential relevance to the technological industry. Faculty and postgraduate research focus on optical, condensed matter and statistical physics, and include the physics of lasers, solid state, mesoscopic systems, devices, nanomaterials, thin films, surfaces, interfaces, liquid crystals, polymers and composites.
 

An area of interdisciplinary collaboration that has emerged over the years is that of nanomaterials and nanotechnology and the Department is closely linked with HKUST’s front-running William Mong Institute of Nano Science and Technology. The followings are main research areas that the Department is presently focusing on:

  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) Physics

  • Biophysics

  • First Principles Studies of Material Properties

  • Information Physics

  • Nano Materials

  • Physics of Semiconductors

  • Soft Condensed Matter Physics

  • Strongly Correlated Electron Systems

  • Surface Physics

  • Particle Theory and Cosmology

  • Ultrafast Photonics and Nonlinear Optics

  • Wave Phenomena and Wave Functional Materials

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

 

1. General Admission Requirements of the University
  • Applicants seeking admission to a master's degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, or an approved equivalent qualification;

  • Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.

2. English Language Admission Requirements

Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:
 

Proficiency Test Minimum Scores
TOEFL-iBT 80
TOEFL-pBT 550
IELTS (Academic Module) Overall score: 6.0 and All sub-scores: 5.5


Applicants don't need to present TOEFL or IELTS score if

  • their first language is English, or

  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

MPhil/PhD: 12 credits
 

  1. Required Courses

Students are required to complete at least 12 credits of approved Physics postgraduate courses.

Full-time students are expected to complete the coursework requirements during the first two regular terms.

Students with a first degree in an area other than Physics may be required to take additional courses.
 

  1. Professional Development Course Requirement

PDEV 6770


Students are required to complete PDEV 6770. The 1 credit earned from PDEV 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed PDEV 6770 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from this requirement, subject to prior approval of the School.
 

  1. English Language Requirement

LANG 5010


Students are required to complete LANG 5010 in the first year of study. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5010 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates may be considered for exemption from this requirement, subject to approval from the Department Head and PG Coordinator.
 

  1. Postgraduate Seminar

PHYS 6000


Students are required to complete PHYS 6000. The 1 credit earned from PHYS 6000 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates in Physics and have completed PHYS 6770 Professional Development in Science (Physics) before may be exempted from this requirement, subject to prior approval from the Department Head and PG Coordinator.
 

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination

PhD students are required to sit for a qualifying examination set by the Department and pass it within the first two years of study. After passing the qualifying examination, students with satisfactory academic records are admitted to PhD candidacy.
 

  1. Thesis Research

PHYS 6990
PHYS 7990


MPhil:

  1. Registration in PHYS 6990; and

  2. Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis.

PhD:

  1. Registration in PHYS 7990 after passing the qualifying examination; and

  2. Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017

Scientific Computation Concentration

In addition to the existing program requirements, students who opt for the Scientific Computation concentration are required to:
 

  1. MPhil:
    Complete a minimum of 7 credits from the following course lists.
    PhD:
    Complete a minimum of 10 credits from the following course lists.

    The credits earned under the concentration will be counted toward the total credit requirements of the programs.

    Core Courses
    MPhil: at least 3 credits
    PhD: at least 6 credits

    All students must take MATH 6915, which can be repeated for up to 2 credits.
     

COMP 5112
CIVL 5390
orMECH 5930
CSIC 5001
CSIC 5011
CSIC 5031
MATH 5311
MATH 6915


Elective Courses

CHEM 5210
CHEM 5220
COMP 5212
COMP 5213
COMP 5331
COMP 5421
CSIC 5190
ELEC 5810
ELEC 5140
MATH 5350
MATH 5360
MATH 5411
MATH 5431
MECH 5230
MECH 5280
PHYS 5410

 

  1. Give a one-hour seminar on computation related research within their first four regular terms of study.
     

  2. Conduct research in the area of scientific computation.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017